• Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in world, says manager
• Champions League football thought to be key for Uruguayan
Brendan Rodgers has told Luis Suárez he would be making a big mistake by leaving Liverpool for Arsenal this summer.
Liverpool remain adamant that the Uruguay international will not be sold unless their valuation of more than £50m is met, despite a belief in the player's camp that Arsenal's latest offer of £40,000,001 should trigger talks over a move to the Emirates Stadium. Suárez and his agent, Pere Guardiola, have told Liverpool he wants to join a club in the Champions League but, in the absence of a firm offer so far from Real Madrid, Rodgers claims to be mystified at why his leading striker would consider teaming up with Arsène Wenger's side.
"I know what we are trying to build and grow, so why would you swap Liverpool to go to Arsenal?" the Liverpool manager said. "I am not sure that it adds up, to be honest. Arsenal has a wonderful history in its own right but Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world. OK, we might not be in the Champions League and haven't been for a while now but our competitors have grown around us and we have to step up to the challenge now."
Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for a 14th season in succession last term whereas Liverpool are approaching a fourth consecutive campaign outside the European elite. But Rodgers insisted his debut season in charge at Anfield, which yielded 30 goals for Suárez, demonstrates why the striker would be wrong to move to north London.
He added: "Would it be a mistake for Luis to leave? 100%. The team was built around Luis last season. I made some big calls to get the team to work in a way to suit his strengths and it is no coincidence he had a great season apart from the end bit. We would love to have him to continue the next phase.
"It is difficult for Luis, I understand that. If a team wants you, it can be difficult. But I am not sure many teams will have done what we have done in the last couple of games [play to crowds of over 80,000 and 90,000 in Indonesia and Australia respectively]. I am sure Luis will have seen the sheer size and status of the club, so we'll just see how it goes. It is not something we want to run on too long."
Asked if the stand-off would change should Suárez submit a transfer request, the Liverpool manager responded: "Luis is under contract so I haven't even thought about that."